EDITORIALS

Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza confirmed in Racine and Barron Co. flocks

Colleen Kottke
Wisconsin State Farmer
State officials have confirmed that a highly pathogenic avian influenza was confirmed in a backyard flock in Racine Co. and on a commercial flock in Barron County this week.

Two more poultry flocks, a non-commercial and a commercial poultry flock are the latest to be infected with the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) confirmed that the disease was found in a non-commercial poultry flock of 204 birds in Racine County on April 7, and in a commercial flock of 4​6,507-bird flock in Barron County was depopulated as of Monday.

Samples were tested by the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory and confirmed by the National Veterinary Services Laboratories. DATCP and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) continue working with animal health officials on a joint incident response.

State officials say over 200 birds on the Racine County property have already been depopulated on the Racine facility, while the flock on the Barron County farm was slated to be depopulated to prevent spread of the disease.

Four Wisconsin counties – Jefferson, Rock, Racine and Barron – have now been confirmed with HPAI among domestic birds. Last month, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced that five counties – Dane, Columbia, Grant, Milwaukee, and Polk – were confirmed with HPAI among the wild bird population. Poultry owners are asked to continue using strong biosecurity practices and, when possible, move their birds indoors.

In an effort to prevent the spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) is suspending all poultry shows, exhibitions and swap meets statewide through May 31, 2022.

DATCP had already suspended poultry exhibitions in Jefferson County after a commercial farm was confirmed with HPAI. Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, and North Carolina are just some of the states that have implemented similar restrictions on poultry events. ​